April 1914

The main article is from an unknown paper from Mary Dinkins' scrapbook.
Article at lower, right is appearently from the Mobile Register

 


How Mississippian Disappointed
   Critics
--Failed to
              Prove "Fire Eater"

"Wild Man From the South" Hasn't Indulged in Any Vaudeville.

 (By J. Fred Essary.)

Washington, April 4.-When Mississippi, following one of the bitterest campaigns in the turbulent political history of that State, voted to send James K. Vardaman to the United States senate there was much shaking of heads.
   Admirers in Washington and elsewhere of a commonwealth which had produced Jefferson Davis, a L. Q. C. Lamar, a Sergeant S. Prentiss, an Anselm J. McLaurin and a John Sharp Williams, deplored the decay into which this Southern constituency had fallen. They began to wonder sadly what the world was coming to after all.
   And this wonder had been encouraged by the fact that Arkansas had previously sent Jeff Davis to the same body; the fact that South Carolina had elected Cole L. Blease governor, and that Texas had repudiated Joseph W. Bailey. Verily the "state of the union" was wretched! How could the republic endure?
   This was undoubtedly the feeling on the part of the supersensitive. They had read of Vardaman's eccentricities in many newspapers. He had fought duels. He had eaten fire before the startled eyes of the populace. He had defended lynching and had pardoned lynchers - if the lynchees happened to be blachmen. He had burned barns. Had preached treason and practiced anarchy.  And lastly, he wore his hair long.
 
      Picture of Political Foes.

   These are some of the crimes on the Vardaman calendar, according to the popular notion. This was the type of man that ancient and honorable Mississippi had sent to Washington to legislate for her and the rest of the country. This was the picture at had been painted by the political enemies of the new senator and reproduced by other artists outside the State.
   Then came Vardaman to the capitol. He walked into the senate chamber quietly and was ushered to the vice president's desk where he executed the oath

 

of office. Afterward he calmly took his seat on the rear row and settled himself there to watch the proceedings. No earthquake accompanied this ceremony. Nothing volcanic occurred to affright the nation. No upheaval followed. No trembling colleagues rushed into the open. No vibrations disturbed the goddess of freedom on the dome.

       Very Tame Affair.

   It was all a very tame affair. And Vardaman has been very tame , as a spectable, ever since. The "'wild man from the South" has produced no shocks. The "nigger hater" has created no scenes. He has stampeded nobody. He has scared nobody. He has violated no established rules. He has chaffed under no restraints. He has indulged in no vaudeville acts.
    On the contrary, the new senator from Mississippi maintained a most dignified mein. He has fitted himself perfectly into the order of the body, He has come and gone about his work with the same ease and grace that might have distinguished a Lodge, or a Root or a Bacon. He has delivered no harrowing speeches. He has sought no spectacular effects.
   A few times Vardaman has addressed the senate. And on each of these occasions he spoke with great deliberation and telling results. He has convictions of a most pronounced type; it is true, and these convictions he fearlessly expounds. But he does not run away with himself. He has not been given to ram-

page since he came to Washington.

Opposes Negro in Politics.

First and foremost among the Vardaman tenets is his opposition to the negro in politics. He believes that the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the constitution were crimes against civilization. He believes that they have done more damage to the negro race than to the white race. And he does not believe that either amendment was legally ratified. Therefore, when Vardaman expresses himself in this connection he does it with force, but he has exhibited none of the violence or virulence which his enemies promised when he was elected.
   Even so, Senator Vardaman is one of our leading ornaments. This is not because of his long hair or handsome face. His dress is the thing. In the winter he wears a senatorial frock that would do credit to any stage makeup. This if topped by a wonderfully broad brimmed black hat. In summer he appears invariably in white flannel, white shoes and great white felt hat. He is always good to look upon.

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  JUDGMENT, HONESTY, DUTY. 

   A perusal of the Congressional Record demonstrates conclusively that Senator Vardaman is keenly alive to everything that is going on in his neighborhood. He is mixing more and more in the senatorial debates and with credit to himself and his constituency.
   A bill was before the senate last week to increase the salary of a certain bureau employe Mr. Vardaman took the position that if the employe had made the salary increase a condition precedent, he would not vote for the man; it should be fixed for the office. and let all men who come to the office enjoy the same compensation. Said the senator from Mississippi:
   "If you do not do that, I repeat, you will set a precedent which will vex you continuously in the future because every time a man is appointed to a place if he is a man of especial worth some senator will come into the senate or some member will come into the house and propose a bill to increase the salary of that office while the extraordinary Mr. Jones or Mr. Smith may occupy it. The policy will be pernicious and the system intolerable. It will not do, and I warn the senate against it."
   "Mr. Brady. I know that the senator from Mississippi is very much in earnest in advocating the line of action suggested in his address; but I want to ask him if he does not believe that when we find a public servant who is efficient and honest--"
   "Mr. Vardaman. He could not be efficient without being honest. There is no permanent success or enduring efficiency without good judgment, guided by honesty and a high sense of duty."
   The last three lines deserve to be remembered. They prescribe an excellent standard in measuring the merits of public servants--Mobile Register.

 

Original Article